WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2008
Baseball handles Florida International, 9-3
March 12, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Garrett Dunlap notched his first win of the season after the Dolphins plated six runners in the bottom of the second to lift the JU baseball team to a 9-3 win over Florida International, Wednesday evening at John Sessions Stadium.
JU (12-1), which increased its home winning streak to 11 games, ran its winning streak to six and its 2008 home record to 9-0 after scoring seven runs in the first two innings.
FIU (6-10) finished with 11 hits in the contest but couldn't get the big hit with runners on base as the Golden Panthers left 14 runners stranded. Dunlap (1-0) got the decision in his second start after allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings. Freshman Matt Loosen also added 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to finish the game off.
Kyle Preshong (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs (one earned) on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in 1.2 innings.
"It makes things a lot more comfortable as a starter when your team puts up seven runs early," said JU head coach Terry Alexander. "With that said, Garrett made some key pitches to get out of some jams and gave us five solid innings. Offensively, we keep finding ways to score early and take advantage of other team's mistakes."
The biggest mistake for FIU was a fielding error by second baseman Corey Lozano with two outs in the bottom of the second which allowed the Dolphins to plate more four unearned runs after JU had already scored two runs in the inning.
Freshman shortstop Jamaal Hawkins, who scored the game-winning run last night as a pinch runner, led the Dolphins offensively after going 3-for-4 with an RBI in his second collegiate start. Junior left fielder Kyle Fleming extended his hitting streak to 11 games after going 2-for-2 with two RBI. Senior center fielder Kevin Ferreira and sophomore first baseman Alex Martinez also finished with multiple hits for the Dolphins.
Jorge Castillo led the Golden Panthers by going 3-for-4 while Lozano and Anthony Boza each finished with multiple hits.
FIU got on the board in the top of the first inning for the second straight day after Raimy Fuentes hit a sacrifice fly to center field and gave FIU a 1-0 lead.
JU, which extended its first inning scoring streak to 13 straight games, answered back with a run in the bottom of the first for the second straight day as junior catcher Jeremy Gillan hit a sacrifice fly.
Ferreira led off the inning with a single to short and then advanced to second on a passed ball. After Fleming moved him to third on a sacrifice and senior third baseman Matt Lopez walked, Ferreira scored on a lined shot to center by Gillan with a lined shot to deep center.
The Dolphins took control in the bottom of the second by scoring six runs on six hits and taking advantage of the one lone error. Martinez led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second on a single to center by junior designated hitter Dan Maier. With two outs, Hawkins laced a single to left to drive in Martinez and both runners advanced on the throw home by Fuentes.
Ferreira followed with a slow chopper to second which Lozana kicked with his glove as he prepared to flip to first, allowing Maier to score and Hawkins to move to third. After Ferreira stole second, Fleming beat out a base hit to second base, as Lozano took too much time to gather the ball and throw to first, allowing Hawkins to score and Ferreira to go to third. After Fleming stole second, Lopez cleared the bases with a single down the right-field line.
FIU cut the margin to 7-2 in the top of the sixth when Boza hit an RBI double off the center field wall. JU answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Fleming hit an RBI single. Ferreira led off the inning with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball before Fleming poked a ball through the left side.
The Golden Panthers made it 7-3 in the top of the seventh when Castillo laced an RBI single to right center.
The Dolphins ended the scoring with a run in the bottom of the eighth when junior catcher Brad Simmons recorded an RBI single with two outs. Hawkins led off the inning with a single up the middle and then advanced to second on a passed ball. After moving to third on a groundout by Ferreira, Simmons brought him home with a single to left field.
JU will return to Atlantic Sun Conference action this weekend on the road as the Dolphins face Lipscomb for a three game series beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Saturday's contest at 1 p.m. will be the first radio broadcast on 1010XL this season as Barry Milligan provides the play-by-play.